Tuesday, August 17, 2010

City Council Candidates and Purple Cows

James Rowan has a way with words -- or should I say, without words.

Last week he posted a commentary about Teresa O'Neill's candidacy for City Council that consisted of linking to a song from Guys and Dolls, and an admonition to follow Nicely Johnson's advice.

For those of you who haven't seen the interminable Frank Loesser musical in a while -- or who, like me, had dozed off by the time the production lumbered its way to this point -- the song to which Rowan refers is "Don't Rock the Boat." The jist of it is, "...the people all said sit down/Sit down, you're rockin' the boat."

Although Rowan generally delivers his commentary with the subtlety of an ax murder, this one has me baffled. Is it a criticism? A warning? A dismissal? A "purple cow" -- as in "don't think of a--"? Precisely who has a Santa Clara political "boat" in the 2010 election to be rocked? To describe running for public office as "rocking the boat" implies a political aristocracy like the British House of Lords. And that would be an unfortunate label for Rowan's evidently preferred candidates.